We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Valenzuela and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, so many of the folks we connect with are focused on having a positive social impact on their community or the world at large. Can you talk to us about how you are helping the community?
When starting Emotion, my intention was pure. I wanted to bring the community together by creating an opportunity to experience a concept new not only in the Denver and surrounding areas, but to my research and knowledge, new anywhere. The intended and perhaps obvious impact – release (for lack of better words) bottled up emotions – whether good or bad – by breaking a paint filled bottle on a wall. Next, take these emotions and create endorphins in a full body workout. Finally, participants are given intentional time to relax and reflect in the Chill Room. Seems obvious, right? We all feel things. We all have things we need to release. I have created a safe space to do that. What I didn’t foresee was all of what 2020 would bring to our community. COVID – 19. The looming presidential election. The racial injustices. The divide between our community seems to deepen with every passing day. I have found that the Emotion Experience isn’t only a benefit to my community; it is a necessity. “If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That is what I think a meaningful life is – living not for oneself, but for one’s community.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg It is my hope that all members of my community, those who think like me and those who don’t; those who look like me and those who don’t, find a space at Emotion to feel.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Emotion Experience started from a dream – literally. We are a fitness experience like no other. combining an emotional release, a workout and then intentional chill time Understanding that fitness doesn’t exist in a bubble, I had to find a way to heal the emotional baggage my clients brought to each of their sessions. It was always something more than losing weight, building muscle or improving physical fitness. I am most proud of the leap of faith I took in starting Emotion in the middle of a global pandemic. While I had my own personal training business, I have never had a storefront. I had, and still have, so much to learn. My doubts creep in and I wonder if it will work. The challenge continues to be to perseverance when my own head says it won’t work. I want the world to know that whatever you are feeling is ok. Bring what you’ve got, your fear, your excitement, your anger and your happiness, to this experience. This is a place for everyone..
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday – Day in RiNo – we would see the murals. Eat at Shake Shack and spend the evening by a fire pit at Improper City Tuesday – head out to Soda Lake – rent paddle boards and spend the day on the water Wednesday – rent scooters in downtown Denver. Visit Confluence Park and ride along the Platt River Thursday – head up I-70 to hike Hanging Lake or St. Mary’s Glacier Friday – Emotion Experience – ready to break bottles, workout and then chill. I’d encourage a little extra chill time as we catch up. Saturday – breakfast and mimosas at Javier’s Diner in the Highlands; a little shopping along the strip. Sunday – visit Jose O’Sheas for the best Mexican brunch around. Spend the rest of the day in Wash Park throwing frisbees and relaxing in the sun.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out goes to my clients. Having been a personal trainer for over 9 years, I have worked with countless people. Some have come and gone in a short time and others have been around for the long haul. Through our shared stories, I have not only learned about the lives of the people I work with, but even more about myself. Whether through loyalty, encouragement, or a more tactile monetary donation, the Emotion Experience would not exist without them. Secondly I would like to give a shout out to my most favorite human – my daughter Aaliyah. She has always been and always will be my why. She gives me purpose and motivation when I can’t seem to find it within. I want to prove to her that she can follow her dreams. Being a biracial, female, I hope to be the role model she needs.
Studio Amy Luna